For the first time in over a year, the Dow today is flirting with the 10,000 point mark. Yet, insists Big Think’s recent guest Nomi Prins, unless you’re one of America’s few megabanks, this number isn’t exactly a cause for joy.
In fact, given the rate at which the financial industry’s recovery has outpaced that of the general economy—which is currently contending with about a 10% unemployment rate –the Dow’s success should make you downright upset over the priorities of our bailout…
The disparity between the success of investment firms and the economy at large reflects, for Prins, the basic myth behind our stimulus plan: that by creating a massive flow of capital for the largest and most powerful Wall Street firms amidst a crisis, we would somehow “release credit for the rest of the population and it would give individuals more access to money themselves, or help individuals at the bottom level of the population.”
This, Prins believes, was never a structurally sound approach to strengthening the American economy. Had this been our true goal, we would have provided aid directly to the base level of our economy—individuals—and injected capital into mortgages and real loans. We would also be working to make sure that taxpayers aren’t permanently responsible for the recklessness of investment institutions by separating our banks into smaller, more specialized and manageable units that aren’t ‘too big to fail.’